How to become a digital pioneer
Is your business a pioneer or a follower, a pace-setter or a laggard? And, more pertinently, what must you do to join the ranks of the former?
These questions are important as the CBI warns that a digital divide is opening up in the UK between businesses that are adopting digital technologies and processes and those that aren't.
According to new CBI research1 undertaken in conjunction with IBM, just over half (55%) of UK businesses are digital pioneers. This puts the UK 14th in the world for the company level adoption of digital technology, despite being ranked first for e-commerce and fifth for availability of technology.
Significantly, two of the main perceived barriers to digital adoption are a lack of appropriate skills within organizations (42%) and an unclear return on investment (33%).
Amongst other things, these findings could explain the rapid take-up of e-invoicing.
As Neopost makes clear in its new white paper, The Growth in E-Invoicing, there are many good reasons to adopt e-invoicing. For businesses eager to make the transition from digital laggard to digital pioneer, e-invoicing is particularly attractive as it offers a clear return on investment through significant reductions in everything from Day Sales Outstanding – the time it takes to get paid – to print, mailing and filing costs.
In addition to these hard, quantifiable savings, the white paper highlights many other potential benefits, including improved visibility of finances, easier cash flow management, discounts for early payment, greater invoicing accuracy, faster dispute resolution, improved customer service – the list goes on.
These benefits have always existed but what's different now is the ease with which businesses can adopt e-invoicing. The development of cloud services and e-invoicing networks that automatically convert invoices into the preferred formats of suppliers and customers have demolished the barriers to entry.
In particular, a modern e-invoicing solution like Neopost Netsend overcomes the requirement for high levels of in-house skill and expertise, identified as a major barrier to digitisation by the CBI survey.
1 Embracing Digital in Every Sector, CBI 2016, www.cbi.org.uk